CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to consider listing wild plains bison as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency announced Wednesday that two people who petitioned to protect the bison in 2009 submitted insufficient data to justify further study of threats to bison.
North America’s largest terrestrial mammal, bison once numbered in the tens of millions. They ranged almost from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.
By the late 1800s, people had killed off nearly all wild bison.
The Fish and Wildlife Service says bison now number about 400,000. They include 20,500 maintained for conservation, the animals for which protection was sought.
Ten states — Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming — maintain conservation herds.
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